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Archives: Nov. 2010


Learn about explorer David Douglas tonight in Tacoma

The ubiquitous Douglas Fir, the tree that populates our forests and provides the skeleton for many of our homes, owes its name to the Pacific Northwest’s most famous botanical explorer.

David Douglas, a 19th Century naturalist, documented 100s of plants in the Western United States, including the fir tree that bears his name.

Tonight, author Jack Nisbet will show slides and discuss Douglas’ life and adventures. Nisbet wrote a book about Douglas called “The Collector.”

The free talk will be at 7 p.m.  (Wednesday, Nov. 10) at the Wheelock Library, 3722 North 26th St., in Tacoma’s Proctor Business District. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Here’s more from the Tacoma Public Library about Nisbet’s appearance:

David Douglas was the premier botanical explorer in the Pacific Northwest and throughout other areas of western North America in the 19th century. Douglas’ discoveries include hundreds of western plants, most notably the iconic Douglas Fir.

In Nisbet’s “The Collector” the Spokane historian and naturalist tracks Douglas’ fascinating history, from his humble birth in Scotland in 1799 to his botanical training under the famed William Jackson Hooker, and details his adventures in North America discovering “exotic” new plants for the English and European market.
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Oregon Symphony plays the Pantages with David Ogden Stiers

Thanks to the Tacoma Philharmonic, the Oregon Symphony under Carlos Kalmar makes an appearance here this weekend, playing Ravel, Mozart, Elgar and Walton, with a Shakespearean touch provided by actors including David Ogden Stiers.

The program “Mozart and Shakespeare” fuses just those two greats. The first half juxtaposes Mozart’s “Prague” symphony with Ravel’s “Menuet Antique,” while the second half includes two English works: Elgar’s “Falstaff” and Walton’s “Embarkation from Henry V.” Integrated with the music will be excerpts from the Bard read by actors David Ogden Stiers (“M.A.S.H.,” various Burns documentaries, etc), Chris Murray and Leif Norby.


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Tacoma composers and musicians shine in “Sax and the City” concert at TAM

It’s an all-Tacoma program this Saturday at Tacoma Art Museum in a concert called “Sax and the City” by local saxophonist Erik Steighner.

Inspired by the current exhibition “Mighty Tacoma,” featuring photographic art based on our city and reviewed here, the PLU sax lecturer has put together a program with works by five Tacoma-connected composers, including a world premiere.

On the menu: “Calypso” by PLU professor Greg Youtz, drawing on his knowledge of the music of Trinidad and Tobago; “The Light is Filled with Birds” and “Dance Album” by PLU alumnus Jeffrey Tecca and integrating hip hop,

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Night Blow at Museum of Glass

To celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions at the Museum of Glass (look for reviews in the TNT Nov. 21), the museum will hold a Night Blow this Friday night. James Mongrain will blow glass in the hot Shop, DJ Oliver Doriss will spin, there’ll be hors d’oevres and a no-host bar, as well as the exhibitions “Glimmering Gone” and “Fertile Ground.”

7-10 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma. $20. 866-$-MUSEUM, www.museumofglass.org


On stage this weekend: the complete “Furniture Dances”

It’s the moment the dance community has been waiting for: The complete series of Robin Jaecklein’s “Furniture Dances,” at the SOTA theater this Friday and Saturday.

Over the last few years Jaecklein (who manages to combine a dancing and choreographic career with teaching at SOTA and managing an energetic young family) has been mounting these pieces one at a time – a rocking chair here, a bed there. The vibe is whimsical, with giant pieces of furniture based on Jaecklein’s own, elf-like costumes and mischievous gestures. The complete series of 11 (including “Couch,” “Bed,” “Chair,” “Chandelier,” “Table” and more) will

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Critic’s Picks: Quartet at Old Town Tuesdays, Tacoma Opera’s “The Elixir of Love,” UPS’ “The Cradle Will Rock” and All-Tharp at PNB

(((all names and contacts CQ)))

Classical Tuesdays

The Classical Tuesdays in Old Town series this month features a UPS faculty-based string quartet playing Gabriela Frank’s “Legends,” a composition reflecting her heritage and travels. 7 p.m. Nov. 9. Free. Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th St., Tacoma. classicaltuesdays.blogspot.com

Tacoma Opera drinks “The Elixir of Love”

A flirty soprano, a gullible tenor and a cunning baritone get together for Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love,” staged this weekend by Tacoma Opera. 8 p.m. Nov. 5, 2 p.m. Nov. 7. $25-$64. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. 253-591-5894, 253-627-7789, www.tacomaopera.com

“The Cradle Will Rock”

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Author Sara Gruen reads at Pierce College, Puyallup

Best-selling author Sara Gruen (“Riding Lessons,” “Water for Elephants,” “Ape House”) will speak Nov. 6 at Pierce College Puyallup to kick off its 2010-11 Pierce Presents series of artists and speakers.

One of the most widely-read of recent American novels, “Water for Elephants” tells the sometimes-harrowing tale of a circus hand who finds a niche working with a mistreated elephant named Rosie. Soon to be a film starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, “Water for Elephants” was a New York Times bestseller, and has been translated into 44 languages worldwide. Gruen’s fourth novel “Ape House” also deals with

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This weekend: the sixth annual East Pierce County Open Studio Tour

The sixth annual East Pierce County Open Studio Tour will take place November 5-7, featuring 40 artists working in 23 studios from Eatonville to Puyallup. The tour will again collect food and cash donations for the Puyallup Valley Food Bank.

 Self-tour visitors can see artists working in a variety of mediums and talk with them about what they do, as well as purchase original artwork. The event will end at the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage and Art Center at 5 p.m. Nov. 7, with an artist reception and a chance for those who have visited at least six studios

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